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Feb. 9th, 2010

christmas tree


The Romero Prayer

Associated with Archbishop Romero, this was actually written by Ken Untener.
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BTVS Buffy so fly


Catholic Represent!

*throws up some kind of gang sign*
...what would a Catholic gang sign be? A crucifix seems a bit generic-Christian... :D

Anyway. I thought since we now have members in double digits (whoop whoop) we could start introducing ourselves. I'd like this to be a friendly community, and sometimes it helps if we know a bit about each other! I'll split my intro into GENERAL STUFF and CATHOLIC STUFF, which you may find a useful model to follow.

My name is Rachel (as my innovative username gives away), I live in the UK, and I have recently completed a PhD in medieval studies (so if anyone gives you any crap about "the Church is evil because of the CRUSADES" let me know). Calling me Doctor gives me warm, warm fuzzies. I am currently seeking permanent employ in academia. In the meantime I do a part time admin job and I also teach at a couple of northern universities. I'm currently addicted to The Wire and am working my way through season 2. I am very geeky, but luckily for me since I work in a very nerdy industry I come across as quite rock and roll due to my infatuation with bright eyeshadow and my freewheeling talking ways.

In terms of catholicleft business, I am pretty left wing. I normally vote Liberal Democrat though I don't feel a particular affiliation to them. I'm starting to wonder if the Green Party, with its emphasis on social justice, might be a better fit, even though they tend to be pigeonholed as an environmentalist group.

I find that I am nearly entirely in line with Catholic social teaching, and I admit that I find Catholics who are very right wing/conservative in their political views a bit perplexing, since it seems much easier to commit to charity, solidarity and subsidiarity if one supports more left wing initiatives. (Which isn't to say at all that right wingers can't be charitable people who care about their community! But I do think it complicates things. Maybe I'll expand on this at some point, though I'm probably preaching to the choir.)

Unlike, perhaps, some of our members, I would describe myself as pro-life, which comes out of my sense of social justice and the inviolability of human life. Importantly, this for me means that I term pro-life to mean pretty much what the Council of Bishops said in 2007:
Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering. Nations are called to protect the right to life by seeking effective ways to combat evil and terror without resorting to armed conflicts except as a last resort, always seeking first to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We revere the lives of children in the womb, the lives of persons dying in war and from starvation, and indeed the lives of all human beings as children of God.

I don't, however, support attempts to criminalise abortion, since the result of abortion being a criminal act is death in misery for women and infanticide or criminal neglect for children. I get kind of annoyed with pro-life groups that picket abortion clinics without actually seeming to want to invest in examining the causes of abortion and thinking about how to encourage society to be more pro-life in its full, encompassing sense of valuing all its citizens as equals.

The main area I politely disagree with the Church is on the issues of homosexuality and gender identity, the recent furore over which here in the UK was an inspiration for this community. I may replicate recent posts I have made over here, so for now I'll just say that firstly I believe strongly that love is a God-given and ennobling quality, and that homosexual couples are just as capable of being sanctified by love within marriage as heterosexuals are, and secondly that the gender binaries the Church emphasises so much are a narrow way of looking at the beautiful multiplicity of God's creation.

I think that's a long enough intro for now... How about you? Don't feel shy about saying you disagree with me - we're all of us different. :)

Feb. 6th, 2010

London my London


Catholic Left Superstars

I should probably begin with some kind of mission statement, but I am not sure that we have one, exactly, apart from what is stated in the userinfo. This is a place where left-wing/liberal (I'm using both terms since they aren't exactly the same!) Catholics can come to feel relaxed in their religious and political identities. Liberal Catholicism can be a difficult path to tread, even if like me you believe that the doctrines of Catholicism mesh very nicely with a left wing social and political outlook. The Catholics who seem to have the most vocal presence online and in the media generally are usually conservative, whilst for many of us we will have friendship circles that are certainly not primarily Catholic and often are peopled by those with no faith at all. We don't feel comfortable with the Catholics who foam at the mouth at the dangers of liberalism, but can occasionally be frustrated by the relentless secularism of most of the left wing.

Plus Catholicism is pretty much the most stylish denomination. Just sayin'.

Anyway, let's kick things off by championing some of the stars of the Catholic Left! Here are just a very few examples...

Sister Dorothy Stang worked as an advocate for the rural poor from the 1970s until her murder in 2005. She defended small farmers from the depredations of illegal logging, despite receiving death threats.

Bishop Carlos Belo, winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to establish peace in East Timor. He was chosen for his post because he was assumed to be submissive to authority, but instead within only months of his inauguration as bishop he was speaking out passionately against atrocities in East Timor, and even gave shelter within his own home to refugees of the Santa Cruz massacre. The years of work in East Timor took its toll on his health, so he looked for something more relaxing... Missionary work in Mozambique! This guy is too socially minded to retire!

Sr Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun and is the co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. Her views, including her support for female ordination into the priesthood, have made her a controversial figure. She is a vocal spokeswoman for women's rights within the Church, and is the author of several books of feminist theology.

Father Alfred Delp was executed by the Nazis because of his resistance to the regime. It seems fitting to close with these words of his, which is a dream worth striving for, I feel.
When we get out of here, we will show, that (ecumenicism) is more than personal friendship. We will continue to carry the historical burden of our separated churches, as baggage and inheritance. But never again shall it become shameful to Christ. Like you, I do not believe in the utopia of complete unity stews. But the one Christ is undivided, and when undivided love leads to him, we will do better than our fighting predecessors and contemporaries.

Feb. 5th, 2010

Easter he is risen



More info to come. In the meantime, enjoy something I found on loltheorists a while back...

St Augustine fights the good fight.

*inserts hilarious tag terms here*

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